What is Dark Chocolate?
Dark Chocolate is also known as black chocolate, plain chocolate or sour chocolate. It is a form of chocolate that contains a high percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter as compared to that of milk chocolate and little to no sugar. According to the research, the global rise in the demand for dark chocolate occurred in the 21st century. The nutritional content of dark chocolate comprises 1% water, 46% carbohydrates, 43% fat and 8% protein. Dark chocolate consists of 70-85% of the cocoa solids.
There are many nutrients present in the dark chocolate that affect your body in a positive manner. As it is made from the seeds of the cocoa trees, dark chocolate is expected to be one of the best sources of antioxidants. It has been found by the studies that dark chocolate helps in improving your health and lower the risk of heart diseases.
There are many surprising benefits of dark chocolate. Have a look at some of them;
- Lowers Blood Pressure and Improves Heart Health
Dark chocolate makes you feel similar to being in love, but it has major benefits for your heart and blood pressure levels. The studies explain that the compound prostacyclin in the dark chocolate helps in lowering the blood pressure by increasing vasodilation, and opening and loosening of the arteries and blood vessels. Also, it has been found that a high intake of chocolate is linked with reduced risks of the future cardiac happenings.
- Fights Aging
There are antioxidant compounds present in the dark chocolate that help in fighting the DNA damage, that is the main cause of aging symptoms like wrinkles, gray hair and other diseases. According to the research, it has been found that the polyphenols and flavonoids present in the dark chocolate help in guarding your skin against the harmful UV rays, which is the major factor that contributes in skin aging.
- Reduces Cholesterol
Apart from reducing the blood pressure and improving heart health, dark chocolate also contributes to lowering the cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that by consuming dark chocolate for a week helps is improving the lipid profiles and decreasing the platelet reactivity for both men and women. This may be because of the fact that cocoa butter in the dark chocolate has some of the heart-healthy fatty acids found in olive oil.
- Improves Brain Function
Studies have shown that dark chocolate has the ability to boost mental function by improving cerebral blood flow. This is beneficial especially for the elderly people, as consumption of dark chocolate helps in enhancing the cognitive performance. Another research explained that the flavanols present in the chocolate help in preventing and even reversing the age-related memory decline.
- Anti-Diabetic Effects
The research has shown that dark chocolate helps in improving the glucose balance, insulin sensitivity and other symptoms that contribute to the development of diabetes. According to the study it has been found that on eating white chocolate no benefits were observed. In a study in Japan, it was found that the risk of developing diabetes has been reduced by 35 percent.
- Potentially Reduce Risk of Developing Cancer
According to a study, it has been found that prolonged inflammation helps in contributing to the factors that further increase the risk of developing cancer. As discussed earlier, antioxidants present in the dark chocolate have a strong ability to fight the DNA damage that could lead to the development of cancer.
How to choose the best Dark Chocolate?
Of course, not all chocolates are created equal. In order to get most of the benefits associated with dark chocolate, you must be clear about the various candy bar varieties. Make sure that you choose the bar that comprises of at least 75% of cocoa content.
Every person has his/her own liking. If you don’t want to eat the chocolate every day, try to get a dose of it at least thrice a week. This will help in boosting the antioxidant levels in your body.